July 19, 2023 – The Ministry of Education is introducing Grenadian History in secondary schools from the Michaelmas term in September 2023, where it will be taught to students in forms one and two.
This move is expected to produce well-rounded graduates and citizens, who will develop a strong sense of national identity and patriotism. A new text will support the introduction of the subject.
Nicole Dowe, Ph.D., head of site at the UWI Grenada Open Campus, is the author of the selected textbook Junior History of Grenada, which is being published by Collins, a publishing house Dowe has previously worked with. She co-authored their Social Studies text for forms two and three and collaborated on editing the History of Trinidad and Tobago. Starting in 2020, Dowe completed the Junior History of Grenada in approximately 18 months.
One-day workshops on the Introduction of the National History Curriculum (NHC) for Lower Secondary Schools were held recently with several groups of history teachers at Marryshow House, in St. George. The standards for teaching Grenadian History for primary schools will soon be developed as part of the OECS Pearl, following which the subject will be introduced.
Kenny James, former history teacher, executive officer with the Grenada Union of Teachers and one of the facilitators for the workshop, congratulated Dowe on the text, describing it as excellent. He said, “History promotes empathy. As we study civilization, as we study people, as we study the things that affected them, we develop a sense of empathy.”
John Angus Martin, a Historian, Archivist and Director of the Grenada National Museum, another workshop facilitator stated that, “It is evident that when people do not know their own history, they tend to latch on to things that may not be beneficial to them.”
Martin said. “It’s very exciting to know that we’re actually going to make history mandatory – Grenadian history mandatory – for Grenadian students. I think it is something that is long overdue.”
Ann Baptiste-Walters, a history teacher at the Grenville Secondary School, said, “There is a lot of ignorance about our Grenadian History and this book will definitely narrow a lot of the gaps.”
Dowe said the format of the text was important to encourage student curiosity in the subject of history. “I taught at TAMCC. I’ve done courses at SGU, and I meet students who are in their late teens, early twenties, sometimes late thirties, and they don’t have a clue and it’s our fault. We have to take responsibility for the fact that we have not taught them. We have not exposed them, so it’s our responsibility to do that,” she said.
“Thus, the reason for writing of the text and then, now, meeting with teachers and doing an actual workshop on the actual teaching of the history text.”
The text is interactive and uses visual aids.
Dowe said, “Minister David Andrew was very happy to partner with the publisher and I… we got the endorsement from the Ministry of Education and worked hand in hand with the Curriculum Officer, Mr. Braveboy, and he got teachers from the secondary schools to read through the text, so that we get their feedback as well.”
Teacher, Baptiste-Walters is thrilled to formally teach Grenadian history, and is pleased with the structured approach.
“I would like to thank Dr. Nicole Phillip Dowe for bringing in such a needed textbook. I’ve been a teacher for the past 18 years and this is the very first time that we have a history book that is
indigenous to Grenada,” she said.
“In terms of the content, excellent. In terms of the student friendliness, with the pictures; in terms of the questioning, there is a lot of higher and lower order questioning to allow students’ analysis and evaluation of the historical activities. There is also an opportunity for fun and to bring in IT.”
Raphael Johnson, an educator at TAMCC, more popularly known as Croquetta, previously published his text CSEC Mathematics through Collins. His text joins Dowe’s on the secondary school booklist this summer. Members of the public can access a copy of the Junior History of Grenada text following its launch in September.